Cameroon: World Sickle Cell Day - CERAC Connects With Patients

The charity association of the First Lady of Cameroon donated gifts to patients at the Chantal Biya Foundation yesterday, in Yaounde.

The First Lady, Chantal Biya, Founding President of the Circle of Friends of Cameroon (CERAC), yesterday June 20, 2019 sent a delegation of her association's members with gifts to patients suffering from sickle cell at her Foundation that bears her name. The event was in line with activities to commemorate the World Sickle Cell Day which was celebrated on June 19. It was an occasion for CERAC members to better understand the genetic disease, share in the pains of children, adults and families with the disease as well as seek ways on how to intensify sensitization around the disease which is preventable. Heading the CERAC delegation was, Aissa Motaze, who is also the Secretary General of CERAC.

The CERAC delegation offered gifts amongst them; a refrigerator, food stuffs and medications to the Sickle Cell Unit of the Mother and Child Centre of the Chantal Biya Foundation (CBF). On hand to receive the gifts was the Director of the Mother and Child Centre of the Foundation, Professor Paul Koki Ndombo amongst staff from the Sickle Cell Unit. A representative from the Unit, Dr Aminatou said the presence of CERAC brought joy and life to most of their patients who most at times are in pains due to health complications from the disease. Although the unit, which exists since 2008, provides different types of assistance to children and patients with sickle cell, the gifts from CERAC, according to Dr Aminatou, will enable the unit better care for patients at the unit who are constantly on medication from one health complication to another.

Before the CERAC delegation visited the different sickle cell units, Professor Mbassi Awa, a neuro-pediatrician at the Mother and Child Centre of the Foundation, took time off to present the Foundation to their guests, whom they consider a sister association. Since 1994, in order to raise national and international awareness on the fight against poverty, disease, misery and all types of exclusion, Cameroon's First Lady, Chantal Biya, created the Foundation which bears her name. The Sickle Cell Unit is one of the many units at the Foundation aimed at accompanying the First Lady in her education, health and social actions towards humanity.

In Cameroon, Professor Mbassi said 20-30 per cent of Cameroonians are suffering from Sickle Cell, one out of 14 couples are at risk of the disease with some 6,050 children born each year with Sickle Cell in Cameroon. While noting that Sickle Cell is a public health disease, the Unit at the CBF, medically follow-ups some 700 children with sickle cell disease. Through the unit, the children and families are provided the necessary medication and vaccination to remedy the burden of the disease. The Unit is focused on sensitizing the population to check for hemoglobin S-the defective form of hemoglobin that underlies sickle cell anemia.

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